Recommend a dehumidifier/dehumidification scheme

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Old 10-08-18, 05:53 PM
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Recommend a dehumidifier/dehumidification scheme

I'm in Northwest NJ (which lately has been feeling like the Amazon Rainforest) in a 150 year old farmhouse with no ductwork (hydronic baseboard heat) and this summer our window units did keep the house cool, but could not keep up with the humidity. Now that we're into October, the window units are out, but even in the cooler temperatures, the humidity is still regularly hitting 90%. I've been finding mold and mildew in closets, the basement, etc... I've been looking at freestanding (Santa Fe, Aprilaire, etc...) and ducted dehumidifiers and can't decide which would better suit our house. The basement is a combination of rubblestone and block foundation with a poured floor. We don't get any seepage (house is built into a hillside and everything drains away) but it does get damp. The first floor (about 1300 SF) is very open. The second floor (also about 1300 SF) has 5 bedrooms and one bathroom off of a central L-shaped hallway. There is a walk-up attic above the entire 2nd floor.

One of the options I've thought of is to buy two freestanding units, put one in the basement and one in attic, and simply punch holes in the first floor and second floor ceiling, install register covers, and hope that there is enough air exchange through those to lower the humidity throughout the house. Option two of course, would be to install a ducted unit or units and at a minimum, install one return and one delivery on each floor. Any thoughts?
 
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Old 10-09-18, 01:38 AM
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As the dehumidifier pull down the humidity in a limited area the surrounding area(s) will drop but not enough that anything significant is going to pull through any type of duct, they are basically for the room they are sitting in.

Pick up one put it in the basement where humidity is highest and see what that does, you can always add more units as needed!
 
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Old 10-09-18, 05:37 AM
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I think I might at least try it. I should note that I'm not looking at the junk they sell in box stores, but rather large units that will do 150-200 pints of water a day. The Santa Fe models are rated anywhere from 2000-3000 SF. They are marketed as "basement" or "crawl space" units, but who the heck has a basement or crawl space that big?

The other alternative I suppose is to buy a ducted unit like this one:

https://www.sylvane.com/ultra-aire-1...umidifier.html

And plumb some delivery and return lines.
 
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Old 10-15-18, 05:14 PM
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I pulled the trigger on a Sante Fe Advance 90 which is capable of 300 CFM/90 pints per day. I've got it set at the halfway mark on the dial which is supposed to be somewhat drier than "normal." This seems to allow the unit to cycle on and off and not run continuously. As per a digital hygrometer the basement is currently holding at 54%, which for a basement is not bad. On the first floor, the levels vary from 55% to 65% room to room. The second floor is at 65% pretty consistently. This is on a 60F day with 78% humidity and intermittent light/misting rain.

I'd like to get the entire house around 50%, so I'm considering adding either another Advance 90 (or a 70 if I can get away with it) in the attic and ducting it through the ceiling. As for making the house hot, that's not necessarily a bad thing for this time of year in our situation. In our old house with the forced air heat, the air was always dry whenever the heat was on, so we wouldn't have these issues. Right now the heat (hydronic baseboard) but providing no dehumidification. If the dehumidifiers pump more heat into the house, it will simply lessen the load on the boiler to keep the house at a given temperature. I'm just hoping that a second dehumidifier will be enough to keep the entire house around 50%.
 
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Old 10-15-18, 10:53 PM
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It sounds like the house doesn't have much for insulation.
It's going to be expensive (electricity) to run that much dehumidification.
 
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Old 10-16-18, 05:56 AM
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The house was originally a barn that was built in ??? and converted to a house sometime in the late 1870s. After that it was added onto/modernized in fits and starts with the latest addition and update to major systems (wiring, boiler, plumbing, etc...) in 2004. The guy just never put in air conditioning which I can't understand for the life of me. That said, the amount of rainfall we've had this year is unreal and I'm betting that the water table is likely higher than its been in years, contributing to the humidity in the basement. I'm guessing/hoping that as the temperatures drop that the precipitation does as well and the basement won't need as much dehumidification. We moved into the house in November 2017 and during last winter the basement was dry and dusty. I didn't start to notice humidity problems until May of this year.
 
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Old 10-17-18, 05:49 AM
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Id try to get the basement down to around 50%. Doing this should reduce the RH in the rest of the house. Make sure bath fans and kitchen fans are being run at least 20 minutes after being used to help remove the RH. Also once the temps get into the thirty's you can open the windows to help dry the air out.
 
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